October 30, 2018

Media Advisory – National Health Law Moot Court competition is this weekend

The SIU School of Law will host one of the nation’s premier moot court competitions this weekend. The National Health Law Moot Court competition will be Friday and Saturday.

Twenty-eight teams from 20 law schools will participate in the competition at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Hiram H. Lesar Law Building.

Now in its 27th year, this is the only mock U.S. Supreme Court competition dedicated to the always evolving and expanding topic of health law, according to Cheryl L. Anderson, a professor at the SIU School of Law and director of the moot court programs.  

Fictitious case centers on breach of consumer information

This year’s fictitious lawsuit centers on a claim that a pharmaceutical company was negligent in failing to secure electronic protected health information during a technology upgrade. The failure allowed hackers to penetrate the company servers and retrieve the personal information of clients participating in a prescription assistance program for an arthritis drug.

The hacked information, including the participants’ identities, was downloaded hundreds of times on a “darknet market” website. The affected consumers filed a class action lawsuit against the company.

Moot court issues are relevant  

Anderson notes that almost every day there is news about another breach of consumer information.

“These data breaches are especially problematic when they involve not only our names and addresses, but our personal health information,” Anderson said. “This year’s competition problem asks advocates to address a question courts have found difficult, namely ‘What does it take to show we have suffered an injury when our personally identifying data was not safeguarded?’”

The court record and other information are on the competition website.

Preliminary rounds are Friday and continue on Saturday

Preliminary rounds begin at 11 a.m. Friday with 16 teams advancing to compete Saturday. Competition resumes at 9:30 a.m. with quarterfinals at 11:30 a.m. and the semifinals at 2 p.m.

Moot court finals set for 4 p.m. Saturday

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the moot court finals on Saturday. Organizers ask reporters and camera crews to check in with Anderson no later than 3:45 p.m. for instructions on where and how the event can be recorded.  For more information before the event, contact Anderson at 618/453-5634. 

Final round judges to hear case arguments

The final round judges are Chief Judge Lavenski R. Smith, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, Little Rock, Arkansas; Senior Judge Richard Mills, U. S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, Springfield; Dr. Veling Tsai, Alhambra, California; and Jennifer Brobst, assistant professor, SIU School of Law. Tsai is a graduate of the SIU School of Medicine.

Participating law schools

The law schools who will enter the competition are:

  • Baylor Law School.
  • Chicago-Kent College of Law.
  • Georgia State University College of Law.
  • Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.
  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
  • Mitchell Hamline School of Law.
  • New York University School of Law.
  • Notre Dame Law School.
  • Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law.
  • St. Louis University School of Law.
  • Seton Hall University School of Law.
  • Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.
  • South Texas College of Law Houston.
  • Suffolk University Law School.
  • Texas Tech University School of Law.
  • University of California, Hastings College of Law.
  • University of Houston Law Center.
  • University of Mississippi School of Law.
  • University of Tulsa College of Law.
  • William & Mary Law School.

The SIU School of Law, the SIU School of Medicine’s Department of Medical Humanities, the American College of Legal Medicine (ACLM), and the American College of Legal Medicine Foundation co-sponsor the event.